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1884ArticlesBuriedCauseCurrently ServingDeceased PoliceFuneralGenderIllnessIncompleteLocationMaleNoNSWOf graveOff DutyStateTyphoid feverWall of RemembranceYear




aka John LIPLAW

Manly’s Third Policeman


New South Wales Police Force

Regd. #   3359


Rank: Constable – appointed 27 December 1878

Senior Constable


Stations?, Manly


ServiceFrom  27 December 1878  to  24 June 1884 = 5.5 years Service




Born:  Friday 25 May 1855 in Greendale, NSW

Baptised:  24 June 1884 at Greendale

Married:  Eliza Johnson on 29 December 1875 in Bombala, NSW

Died on:  Wednesday  24 June 1884 in Manly, NSW

Age:  29

CauseTyphoid fever


Funeral date:  Saturday  27 June 1884 @ 2.30pm

Funeral location:  Congregational Cemetery ( Manly Cemetery )

Buried at:  Manly Cemetery, Plot S.187  Register page MD17  No headstone

 Memorial at?


JOHN is NOT mentioned on the Police Wall of Remembrance  *NEED MORE INFO





May they forever Rest In Peace


John was a policeman stationed at Manly Police Station. It was at the corner of Fountain Street (now Sydney Road) and Market Lane. A stone building was built, and opened in 1866, and was added to in 1889. This was also his residence.


The Sydney Morning Herald,

Saturday 28 June 1884, Page 1.


LEPLAW. – June 27, at his residence, police station, Manly, John Leplaw, aged 29.

The Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday 28 June 1884, Page 20.


THE FUNERAL of the late JOHN LEPLAW, Senior Constable, Manly, will move from his residence, police station, Manly, at half-past 2 o’clock THIS DAY, Saturday, for the Congregational Cemetery.


Undertakers, Manly.


The Late John Leplaw.

A meeting of the inhabitants of Manly, convened by the Mayor, was held on Tuesday night, for the purpose of relieving the widow and orphans of the late Senior-sergeant Leplaw, who died a few day since from an attack of typhoid fever. The deceased was a very meritorious officer, and was highly respected by the inhabitants. The Mayor made a brief speech in introducing the subject, and on being called upon the Hon. W. B. Dalley, Attorney-General, addressed the meeting as follows: – Mr Mayor,- I feel sure that all here will feel very grateful to you for your invitation to this meeting, by which you enable us to take part in a work of duty and charity. To call our attention to and inspire an interest in deserving objects of relief and compassion – to enable us by our united effort – costing so small an individual sacrifice – to succour the widow and the orphan, is one the pleasures of your office. It is needless to speak of the excellent, meritorious officer who has recently been taken away from us so suddenly. You all know how thoroughly respectable, vigilant, and trustworthy a member he was of that police force of which, happily, in this country we have so much reason to be proud, and on the high character of which our peace and sense of security directly depend. The Mayor pointed out how we may show our appreciation of his humble, honest service, by helping the wife and poor little ones whom he has left to our pity. His former comrades have shown us an admirable example; and for the credit of this little place, for our own happiness, and you may be assured that works like this in which we are asked to take part to-night are the truest and purest sources of happiness – “Thanks to the human heart by which we live. Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and tears.” Most of the leading inhabitants of the town were present, and a subscription list was opened, and between £50 and £60 collected in the room. It is anticipated that altogether a sum of £100 or £150 will be obtained.


An electronic book on CD

Snr.  Constable John Leplaw

Snr.  Const.  John  Leplaw and Sergeant  John  Carton

“I  hold a thin little book.  It’s black and bound  and some of the colour is worn off from handling by other hands.

On the front cover, pasted upside down, a remnant of newspaper advertises a ‘drought resistant strain of Millet which is a splendid fodder plant.’  It’s available from Anderson and Company,  Seedsmen and Plant Merchants of George Street, Sydney.  Beneath, an advertisement offers Dinnesford’s Magnesia as a cure for Gout and Gravel.

It’s my great grandfather, John Leplaw’s 1884 Police Log and, judging from its size, is the one he carried on his person as he did his rounds.”

So begins A Fresh-Faced Babe, the story of John Leplaw, Manly’s third policeman from 1879 to 1884, when he died of typhoid fever contracted, so the family story goes, while chasing a felon through the Manly swamps.

John’s Log, dating from  22nd January to 13th May 1884, gives us a glimpse of Manly’s under-belly and the duties of its policeman.

The first 45 pages contain a Census listing names and locations in the Manly Municipality and beyond to The Spit, with the  number of people in each establishment.

Log entries make for interesting reading.  Manly appeared to be a reasonably orderly place during the week,  but weekends and public holidays attracted the worst that Sydney had to offer.  On one occasion “there was fully ten thousand  people  gathered.  There was a  mixture of the worst class of people in Sydney.   Card Sharps  and thieves … I have not got the Town  quietened down  yet after the great excitement.”

A Fresh Faced Babe brings to light previously unpublished aspects of  Manly’s  early history and includes letters, illustrations and Tintype photographs from  1879-1884, Index, Bibliography and a full transcription of the Log and Census in both Location and Alphabetical order –  a boon to researchers and lovers of Manly history.

Price  is  $30.  +  $2. 00.  postage

Orders  and  cheques  to D.Coleman

4/44 Pearl Street, KINGSCLIFF   NSW  2487

Libraries may order via email and be invoiced


New South Wales Government Gazette (Sydney, NSW : 1832 – 1900),

Friday 3 May 1889 (No.233), page 3279

In the Supreme Court of New South Wales.


In the lands, goods, chattels, credits, and effects of John Leplaw, late of Manly Beach, near Sydney, in the Colony of New South Wales, policeman, deceased, intestate.

NOTICE is hereby given that after the expiration of fourteen days from the publication hereof in the New South Wales Government Gazette, application will be made to the Supreme Court of New South Wales, in its Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, that letters of administration of all and singular the lands, goods, chattels, credits, and effects of John Leplaw, late of Manly Beach, near Sydney, in the Colony of New South Wales, policeman, deceased, intestate, who died on or about the 28th day of June, 1884, may be granted to Eliza Leplaw, of Candelo, in the said Colony, widow of the said deceased.— Dated at Bega, his 24th day of April, a.d. 1889.


proctor for said Administratrix,

. Bega.

3679     6s. 6d.


Bega Standard and Candelo, Merimbula, Pambula, Eden, Wolumla, and General Advertiser (NSW : 1876 – 1884),

Saturday 5 July 1884, page 2


LEPLAW.- On June 28th, at his residence, Manly Beach Police Station, John, the eldest and beloved son of David and Ann Maria Leplaw of Corunna, aged 29 years.


Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954),

Saturday 26 July 1884, page 11


THE inhabitants of Manly have again been giving evidence of their generosity. Three or four weeks ago Senior-constable Leplaw, who had for some time past done duty at that watering-place, and was esteemed for many good qualities, and especially for the very efficient manner in which he discharged his police duties, died of typhoid fever, leaving a widow and children almost unprovided for. He was a comparatively young man, and had not had the opportunity of making that provision which it is incumbent upon heads of families to make. A few of his friends moved in the matter, a public meeting was held, Leplaw’s excellencies extolled, and a subscription list opened. The result, it will be seen by advertisement, is that a sum of -100 has been collected for presentation to the widow. This is not the first time the inhabitants of ” our village ” have given substantial assistance to the bereaved family of a police officer.


New South Wales Government Gazette (Sydney, NSW : 1832 – 1900),

Tuesday 7 August 1883 (No.329), page 4229

Department of Justice,

Sydney, 4th August, 1883

His Excellency the Governor, with the advice of the Executive Council, has been pleased to appoint the undermentioned members of the Police Force to be additional Sub-Inspectors under the Licensing Act of 1882, for the Metropolitan Licencing District.


Rank and Name*.

Manly …….. Senior-constable John Leplaw.


Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954),

Wednesday 27 August 1884, page 2


The Widow of the late Senior-constable Leplaw desires to render her moat earnest and heartfelt thanks to the residents of Manly, also to the Officers and Members of the Police Force, who have aided her in her late bereavement, by so generously and liberally subscribing towards the relief of herself and little children.

August 14, 1884 (Signed) ELIZA LEPLAW.


Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954),

Wednesday 1 August 1883, page 5


Antonio Amaral was charged with having, on the 6th July, stolen a cow, the property of John Farrell.
Mr Lowe appeared for the prosecutor, and Mr Coonan for the defendant.
The proceedings were initiated on the 9th July, and the hearing of evidence has occupied portions of six days.
Eighteen witnesses were examined, an equal number being called by each side.
It appeared that the prosecutor resided at Manly, and the defendant resided near the same place.
A man named Thomas Lovett, residing at Penrith, purchased 20 head of cattle from the defendant, paying him at the rate of 35s. each.
On the 6th July Lovett, assisted by Thomas Antonio Amaral, son of the defendant, was driving those cattle along the North Shore-road, when he was met by Thomas Farrell, father of the prosecutor.
Farrell pointed to a black and white cow, which he said was his son’s property. The cow was, it was alleged, left at the prosecutor’s place on the morning of the 7th July, and the defendant was arrested the next day by Senior-constable Leplaw.
The defence was that the cow in question was the property of the defendant, and that a mistake had been made with regard to the identity of the animal.
The defendant was committed for trial. Bail was granted, the defendant being required to enter into his own recognisance for £50, and to find two sureties in the sum of £25 each.


Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 – 1893),

Thursday 22 February 1883, page 5


A stabbing affray between a Queensland black and a police-constable occurred in the bush, near Manly on Sunday morning (says the Herald).

Senior-constable Leplaw, who is stationed at Manly, received information on Saturday evening that two Queensland blacks were wandering about in the bush close by in a nude state, and on the following morning, accompanied by two civilians, he set out in pursuit of them, with a view of ascertaining how and in what condition they were living.

Having discovered their whereabouts he approached them, and by means of certain signs endeavoured to make them understand that he would give them some clothing and also food if they would accompany him. One of them wore a shirt only, whilst the other was going about perfectly naked. The former made some remark in his native tongue to the latter, who thereupon bolted off, but he was pursued and quickly overtaken by the two civilians who accompanied Senior-constable Leplaw.

The officer, thinking that the other would also attempt to run away, kept very closely to him, and immediately he drew a knife, which he had concealed about his shirt, and with it he rushed at the officer, making a blow. The latter, in endeavouring to ward it off, received a nasty gash on the back of the left hand, near the thumb.

A lively tussle ensued between Leplaw and the black, who fought most desperately, but the officer, notwithstanding that he lost a large quantity of blood, at length secured his assailant, handcuffed him, and brought him along with his mate to Manly.

Leplaw then escorted them by the s.s. Fairlight to Sydney, and had them locked up.

The wound on the officer’s hand was dressed at Manly. Although a very ugly one, it is not likely that it will have any serious results.


Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate (NSW : 1876 – 1954) ,

Thursday 22 February 1883, page 3


The two Queensland ‘blacks’ who were arrested by Senior-constable Leplaw, near Manly, on Sunday morning, and one of whom stabbed the officer in the hand; were brought before Mr. Marsh, S.M., at the Water Police Court Sydney, on Monday ( says the S. M. Herald ) and on the application of the police they were remanded for a week.

Mr. Cunningham, an agent for the well known Barnum show, appeared in court, and he informed Mr. Marsh that the prisoners formed part of a contingent of nine blacks which he had recently procured in Queensland for the purpose of forwarding to Mr. Barnum to add to his list of curiosities. He had been instructed by Mr. Barnum to obtain six or more Queensland blacks, and with a view of carrying out his directions Mr. Cunningham proceeded to a camp in Queensland some few weeks ago, and after making certain offers to the nine in question they were induced to accompany him.

He brought them to Sydney, and the two prisoners deserted, thus accounting for their presence in the bush near Manly.

Mr. Marsh replied that it appeared to him as if the case partook very much of the character of kidnapping, and legal proceedings might in consequence be the result at any moment. He added that the matter should be thoroughly inquired into by the police, and he was informed that it would be.


Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954),

Saturday 24 February 1883, page 11


AT the Water Police Court yesterday, ” Jimmy,” a Northern Queensland aboriginal under engagement to proceed to America to join Barnum’s show, was again brought up on a charge of having unlawfully and maliciously stabbed Senior-constable Leplaw. Sub-inspector Atwill stated that he had not been able to secure the services of any person who would be able to interpret the language spoken by the accused, and that he had not been able to even secure the services of any one who would be able to make the accused under stand the nature of the offence with which he had been charged. Under these circumstances he desired to abandon the prosecution. The accused was thereupon discharged.


Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 – 1931),

Monday 7 August 1882, page 3

Row at Manly Beach

The recent disturbances at Manly Beach formed the subject of investigation again on Saturday, at the Water Police Court, before Mr. Buchanan, S.M.

Adam Fraser, who was brought up on three charges of assaulting senior constable Leplaw, resisting the police, and assaulting constable Minogue, was fined £5 or the alternative of one month in gaol.

John Lewis, who was also similarly prosecuted by the same officers, was discharged, the case against him not being substantiated.

This matter will come on again at the Court on Tuesday afternoon, there being still two cases to be dealt with by the bench.


Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 – 1893),

Thursday 22 June 1882, page 6

Charge of Arson.

( From the Echo. )

The hearing of a charge of arson preferred against one Robert Burman was concluded at the Water Police Court on Saturday, before Mr. Buchanan, S.M.

The prisoner was charged with having on or about Monday, 5th instant, wilfully set fire to a dwelling house at Manly Beach, the property of Mr. T. Stonier.

Sergeant Higgins deposed that when he arrested the prisoner at 5 o’clock on the evening of Friday, 9th instant, and informed him of the nature of the charge, he said “I do not know how I did it ; there is no use blaming anyone else for it ; I must have been drunk when I did it ; I have no recollection of how it was done ;” witness had seen the prisoner on the 7th instant, when a conversation took place concerning a robbery, which, it was alleged, occurred at the prisoner’s place some time before the fire, and also with respect to a bullet which prisoner had previously stated had been fired at him ; prisoner on this occasion said that the robbery was genuine, but that he fired the shot himself; he also stated that on the morning of the fire he was sleeping at Mr. Littlejohn’s house, and that about 2 o’clock he was awakened by hearing an explosion of cartridges and the barking of dogs ; he found that his place was in flames, and that the two back rooms were burnt ; he had lost everything by the fire, and did not know who had done it ; on the 7th instant prisoner was in a house which was situate about 220 yards from that which had been destroyed by fire ; when witness inquired about the shot, prisoner showed him a window through which he said the shot had been fired ; witness asked him how it occurred, and whether he knew who did it, when he made a statement to the effect that about two o’clock in the morning he heard a voice saying, ” Are you asleep ?” that was the way in which his master used to call him – when he (prisoner) opened the door, and looked out, and saw a man standing about 10 yards off ; the man ( prisoner stated ) said to him ” I thought I roasted you the other night, take that,” at the same time firing a shot from a pistol ; he pursued the man over the rocks towards the Quarantine Ground, where he missed him ; the prisoner showed witness some tracks, which he said were made by the man ; prisoner also stated that he knew the man, whose name was Carl Endersen, and that he had previously known him in Victoria, where they quarrelled ; that Endersen threatened to have revenge, and that he believed it was he who had set fire to the house ; subsequently, in the course of conversation, the prisoner stated that it was he (prisoner) who had fired the shot, and that he had never known a man named Carl Endersen ; witness had made inquiries, but had not been able to find any such man.

Constable John Leplaw deposed that at about half-past five o’clock on the evening of the 5th instant prisoner came to him at Manly, and stated that his house was burned down by fire at ten minutes past two o’clock that morning ; in reply to enquiries, prisoner stated that he was sleeping at Mr. Littlejohn’s, about 200 yards from the house which had been destroyed, and that his wife and family were away at Marrickville, at Mr. Stonier’s place ; prisoner said he first saw the fire himself, having been awakened by crackers and barking of dogs, that he had 40 cartridges in the house, and that the place had been wilfully set on fire. This witness, having described other conversations which took place between him and the prisoner, said he made a search in the house occupied by the prisoner since the fire, and found a leaden bullet (produced), and on the bed in the bedroom occupied by prisoner, he ( witness ) found a loaded pistol ; prisoner then said, ” Don’t go any further in this case, I’m the man you’re looking for;” witness asked him what he meant, and he replied, ” I’m the man that’s done the whole of it, do what you like with me, I will make a full confession ;” prisoner also said, ” I fired the shot into the room on the morning of the 7th, and I don’t know there is such a man as Carl Endersen, for whom I got a warrant, alive ;” witness asked him why he had done it, and he replied, ” I was afraid that I would be blamed for the burning of the house, I was trying to make up a scheme to get out of it ;” witness asked him whether he knew anything about the burning of the house, and he paused for a moment and then said, “No, I do not;” witness then asked him how he accounted for the footprints, and …. could show him ( witness ) the ……..belong to another party; I put them on to lead you astray; you will find the boots in Littlejohn’s house, in the largo room;” in consequence of that conversation witness arrested prisoner, and afterwards went to Mr. Littlejohn’s house and found the boots which corresponded with the tracks which prisoner had pointed out ; the house which was destroyed seemed to be scantily furnished. Other witnesses were called, and their testimony tended to show that prisoner was the first person seen near the house when it was discovered by some neighbours to be in flames ; that the building consisted of four rooms, and was constructed of weatherboard ; that it was the property of Mr. Thomas Stonier, of Marrickville ; that prisoner had arranged to purchase it for £500, the purchase money to be paid in weekly instalments of £1 ; that he had made four payments ; and that the building was insured by Mr. Stonier in the London and Lancashire office for £100, and that Mr. Stonier had made a claim on that policy.

The prisoner, having been cautioned in the usual way, made a statement to the effect that he had been drinking on the Saturday and Sunday preceding the fire, and that he went home at 8 o’clock on Sunday night, and could not remember anything more than that the house was in flames when he awoke next morning.

The prisoner was committed for trial at the next Court- of Quarter Sessions. Bail was granted, the prisoner being required to enter into his own bond of £100, and to find two sureties in £50 each.


Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954),

Thursday 22 July 1880, page 3


Yesterday, Messrs Brown, Greville, and Captain Edwards, Js P were on the bench in the Charge Court.

Matthew Regan, on remand, was convicted of resisting Constable Leplaw while in the execution of his duty, and ordered to pay a fine of 20s , or go to gaol for seven days.


Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954),

Wednesday 30 June 1880, page 6


Yesterday, the bench in the Charge Court was occupied by Messrs. Reading, Penfold, and Cock, and in the Summons Court by Messrs. Hunt and Jenkins.

Michael O’Hare was fined in the sum of 40s. for assaulting Constable Leplaw in the execution of his duty, with the alternative of one month’s imprisonment. A further charge of wilfully damaging the constable’s uniform was preferred against the prisoner, for which he was ordered to pay the amount of the damage – namely, 45s., or to suffer an additional term of imprisonment for one month.


Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954),

Saturday 31 January 1880, page 7



At the Central Police Court, yesterday, the Police Magistrate was assisted in the Crime Court by Messrs. Jolly, Reading, Thomas, Skerratt, and Carpenter; and in trio Summons Court, by Messrs. Neale, Ridge, Barden, and Blair.

Mark Tierney, butcher, was proceeded against on a charge of cruelly ill-treating three calves. It appeared that the defendant was driving the calves in a cart up Oxford-street, to Paddington, on Thursday night, when the attention of Constable Leplaw was attracted to the condition of the animals in the vehicle. The cart was too small for the purpose, and the calves were huddled together in such a manner that they were almost unable to move, while their legs were tied so tightly that the rope cut through the skin.

The Bench fined the defendant in the sum of 20s., with 21s. complainant’s’ costs ; or, in default, seven days’ imprisonment.


NSWBDMBirth =  V18553187 42B/1855

NSWBDM – Death = 5921/1884


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